Volleyball Impresses at Duke Invitational

Gillian Scherz

It was an arduous weekend for the women’s volleyball team at the Duke Invitational. Although the Raiders finished with a record of 1-2, Colgate certainly put forth an admirable effort.

“I was really pleased with our showing,” Head Coach Ryan Baker said. “We played against the best competition on our schedule this past weekend. All three universities are much bigger and have more resources than our program, but we still competed all weekend and ended up beating a very strong Big East opponent (Seton Hall).”

Action started on Friday morning with Colgate’s first-ever meeting against the Georgia Bulldogs. Colgate lost the first two sets to UGA by scores of 20-25 and 21-25, but the Raiders then forced their way back into the match by shutting down the Bulldog offense in set number three and keeping them at a .114 attack percentage, the lowest by either team throughout the match. The Raiders won the third set, 25-21 before losing in the fourth set, 23-25.

“We had some new kids step up, and our lineup can change without us missing a beat,” Coach Baker said.

First-year Maureen Colligan was one great example of the team’s flexibility during the Georgia match. Although she is on the roster as an outside hitter, she made her debut in the middle.

“She did terrific things both attacking and blocking,” Baker noted.

Senior libero Jackie Adlam also had a great match, as she dominated the back row with a match-high 17 digs.

Friday evening against the host team brought another hard-fought loss for Colgate. Consistent with the first match of the tournament, the Raiders lost the first two sets, rallied back in the third, and then were downed in set four, ending the match with a final score of 14-25, 13-25, 25-22 and 21-25.

“The third game against Duke we played really well together and everything finally clicked,” junior setter Meghan Fanta said,

Fanta dished out 30 assists against Duke and senior Katrina Zawojski racked up 15 kills. The win in the third and close score of the fourth set shows the improvements made throughout the match, which carried over into the Raiders’ crucial win against Seton Hall on Saturday.

“By the Seton Hall match our team believed that we are a good team, ? Baker said. “During the Georgia and Duke matches, it took a couple games to realize that we have just as many good athletes on our side of the net. It’s just that they were 6’2” and we’re all 5’10”.”

Colgate downed Seton Hall 26-24, 19-25, 25-21 and 27-25 in a demanding but rewarding four sets. Zawojski led the offense with a hefty 20 kills and Fanta paced the team with an outstanding 45 assists. This fine performance closed the weekend for the Raiders.

“Overall, we took some really good steps coming together as a team and were able to see where our potential is against top teams,” Fanta said.

Colgate heads off to Yale University today for another tournament, where they will face the host school along with Hofstra and Boston College, whom they lost to at the Colgate Classic in four sets.

“We’re looking to avenge our loss against Boston College,” Fanta said. “That is definitely a big goal for this weekend.”

To prepare for the Yale Invitational, Coach Baker added, “We’ll be talking about goals this upcoming week. We can’t be satisfied coming out with a loss this weekend. We’ll be focusing on coming out of the gates very strong and competing until the match is over.”

The Raiders first match starts at 5 p.m. against Hofstra on Friday. Colgate will then play Yale at 1 p.m. and B.C. at 5 p.m. on the following day.